Monday, December 12, 2011

Social Media, Web Sites, & Open Source Tools for Today's Churches

The incorporation of digital technologies and effective use of the Internet into church-based ministry is an new skill set churches need to master. The Internet has become one of the pivotal communications and community-building tools of our lifetime and can be of great use to churches and their congregations in a variety of ways.

Back in 2000, just one-third of Protestant churches (34%) had a church web site. By 2005, more than half the churches (57%) had web sites. Today, well over two-thirds of churches have web sites and the numbers continue to climb. See Church Executive.

About half of the small churches (less than 100 adult members) have a church web site, compared to three-quarters of the mid-sized churches (100 to 250 adults members) and over 90% of  large churches (more than 250 regularly attending adult members).

In addition to web sites, well over 25% of Protestant churches now have some presence on social networking sites, e.g. Facebook, Linkedin.  Again, church size plays a factor, with over half of larger churches having a presence on social networking sites.

To learn more about the use of information technology (IT) by churches and their congregations, go to the COSI Open Religious Technology web site.  Many software tools, mobile apps, digitized educational materials, eGames, and more are 'open source' and are available for free.  

Let us know about any other high quality, free and open source software solutions or products pastors, church leaders, or congregations might find useful.

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